Record Label: Hippos In Tanks
London-based artist Dean Blunt, one half of the duo Hype Williams, presents his first official solo LP, The Redeemer, to be released via his own World Music imprint and Hippos in Tanks. The Redeemer follows his 2012 solo introduction The Narcissist II which was a drug fueled ode to an unspecified girl. The Redeemer proceeds with yet a more direct and heartfelt message, and a notable lifting of the veil of tape hiss and blurred signifiers that characterized Blunt's previous work.
The result is a profound artistic statement as singular as it is somehow familiar, its strange, bruised grandeur rising from a disorienting swirl of contradictory emotion, the curse of love. Blunt evokes bygone memories, from first kisses to humiliation and heartache, be it as the heartbreaker or the heartbroken, and with the acknowledgement that sometimes the two can exist in the same person.
This is undoubtedly Blunt's most romantic collection of compositions, but it's a love that dwells in nightmares as much as well as in dreams. The listener becomes the character in Blunt's unflattering romance, receiving scorned voicemail messages and whispers from lovers. Musically, the nineteen pieces found on The Redeemer are replete with vivid mosaics of sound and imagery: orchestral sonatas drift into ravaged 4 a.m. ballads and feral psychedelia, and Blunt comes clearly into frame as a songcrafter of poise and assurance. Sonically and lyrically, The Redeemer captures the essence of modern romance: delusional, infatuated, and all-consuming.